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41
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen [DVD] [1988] [2011]
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2003
This film is the funniest film i have had the pleasure of watching. It's witty, fun to watch, and is deeper than you would first think, the story is well thought out and the special effects are amazing for the time that the film was made, probably as good effects today produced by computer.
The film is mind blowing,with places and events so impossible yet fitting to the story. THE STORY LINE IS NOT LOST at all.
I would recomend this film to any monty python, Hitch Hickers,Time Bandits or Red Dwarf fan.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I first saw this film about ten (or more) years ago after seeing it advertised as showing on tv. Enticed by the fact it looked like a kids film, I was only put off by the (very) late night showing time because it meant setting my video timer. I had only watched it once, and the memories of how strange and brilliant it was stuck in my head until I bought it a few weeks ago.

My memory had not failed me. Not only is it definitely dark enough to suggest that it shouldn't be watched by young children - beheadings! risque jokes! The terrifying winged creature of Death! - it is also a lot wierder than I remember as a child, and as such this film deserves high acclaim. In keeping with its inherent off-the-wall nature, this is one of the best fantasy films I have ever seen, one of those films that cherishes imagination and ideas over anything else. The special effects, for the most part, still look incredible today, which is amazing considering the film's age and the fact that newer films like the first lord of the rings are starting to look dated already. Whatever the film's intended audience, it sadly didn't reach them, and has instead become something of a lost gem for those who want something a little different. This is just a brilliant and highly imaginative film!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is a wonderfully inventive film, full of striking images, marvellous performances and a lovely streak of dark humour running through it. Gilliam's brain must be constantly ticking with new ideas to amaze his audience as he directs these brilliant films.
Oliver Reed shows, like he did in the Musketeer films, that he is well suited for comedy roles, playing the god Vulcan as a childish, jealous child in a God's body. Robin Williams gives a wildly over the top performance as The King Of The Moon, but its perfectly suited for this film. John Neville is perfect as the ageless Baron, and Eric Idle and Sarah Polley also impress in their roles.
Really, its a film about having an imagination and not losing it as you grow up, as at the beginning the only person to believe the Baron is the child, but by the end of the film our hero has won over his adult audience too.
This is a great film, Gilliam's masterpiece in my opinion, and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. 5 out of 5
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2000
THE ADVENTURES OF BARON VON MUNCHAUSEN. I must admit, the title does not immediately take your breath away, sounding rather more like a 1940's war movie than fantasy. But, peel the cover back, watch the movie, and immediately be immersed within an amazing fantasy world where reality as we know it no longer needs to exist. This is a comedy like no other I have ever experienced, full of laughter, adventure, and sorrow brought together beneath an ever unwinding storyline, so wonderful I almost wish it were true. I, for one, cannot see why any fantasy lover could not enjoy this epic. Entertaining for both children, and the child within us all. As such, I cannot rate this wonderfully original movie anything other than the top grade, 5 stars. I only hope that you all would enjoy it as much as I.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2004
When I was younger I had a copy of this of VHS that I watched so much the tape snapped. This is the kind of fantasy film a child would make if given a grossly overblown Hollywood budget, and I mean that in a good way. It in no way patronises the younger audience like a Disney live action might, it only invites them to let go and be taken from place to place as the incredibly imaginative story unfolds. Terry Gilliam is a master the field of old school story telling, and for me no one dose it better. Not for those who cannot suspend their disbelief.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2004
The film itself is a visual feast and I feel captures perfectly a whimsical romantic era of great adventurers, somewhat in the vein of Indiana Jones. Beyond the eye candy the film itself has a story which while at times is chaotic, it is none the less profound, taking as its theme the power of imagination. The film itself I feel can be enjoyed on many levels and for this reason alone it is a truly great piece of work.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2006
This is the art of the imagination brought to life in brilliant style. You'll cheer, you'll cry, you'll say "What the hell was that?" and you'll think Mr Gilliam needs a nice padded cell with a comfy chair. All true.
The scope is breathtaking, the cast, stars and support are all astounding. Bill Patterson as a failed actor in the worst wig in the history of film: "Cut down at the height of my talents - my public will kill me if I die now...". Little Sarah Polley is wonderfully natural, John Neville shows his undeniable star quality and who knew Oliver Reed could do comedy? This and Brazil are two of Mr Gilliam's finest and two of the best films ever made. Anything can happen and often does. If you don't like this film you have no sense of humour, no soul, no imagination and no child-like wonder left in you. Don't try and deny it... Get it now, watch it now - life will be better as a result.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2005
I saw this film as a child and loved it and so couldn't resist when I saw it on Amazon - I was a bit worried it wouldn't live up to my memories but I needn't have been. This film has got the Pythonesque brand of bizarre humour and magic stamped all over it. The sets look amazing and the cast are as great a celebrity rogues gallery of grotesques as you could wish to find. The Baron himself puts James Bond to shame as the epitomy of unflappable British charm and I especially love Oliver Reed's turn as Vulcan (complete with comedy northern accent). This is fairy tales the way they should be, rude, funny, strange and a little sinister.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
21 years after the off-screen battles are over and unrealistic expectations have all been exorcised, Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen looks really rather wonderful. If anything it's probably too wonder-full to ever appeal to a mainstream audience as Gilliam plays out the eternal conflict between mundane and unexceptional reality and dreams and imagination in the palaces of sultans, the kingdom of the moon, the inside of Mount Etna, the belly of a whale and points inbetween as the teller of tall-tales hitches a ride on a cannonball, flies to the stars in an airship made from women's underwear and dances with Uma Thurman's goddess Venus in the air as waterfalls and cherubim surround them and Oliver Reed's rather wonderful god and munitions manufacturer Vulcan (played like a cross between a Northern mill owner and Gumby from Monty Python's Flying Circus) hops angrily up and down below them as his temperature rises to danger levels. As John Neville's Baron himself says, "This is precisely the sort of thing that people never believe."

Terry Gilliam's `Fellini film' - indeed, many of his collaborators (Giuseppe Rottuno, Dante Ferretti) are Fellini veterans - was much criticised as being all hot air and fantasy with no real foundation, but in fact the script is a lot better than it was ever given credit for. Beautifully structured as a ramshackle but ingenious play gradually becomes the Baron's `reality,' the figure of Death constantly hovering on the sidelines of the Baron's adventures that periodically rejuvenate him, it's end is somewhat disappointing as it paints itself into a fantastic corner, but getting there is a lot of fun. While there's much Pythonic humor along the way, it's not always entirely successful: the scene on the moon fares worst, largely due to a very loud and unfunny cameo by a literally off-his-head Robin Williams (here billed as Ray D. Tuto after his agent allegedly told him the film could be a career-killer). Hopefully the forthcoming special edition DVD will go into some detail about the original very different conception of the sequence with Sean Connery (dropped to keep the budget down: typically for the film, it cost more to cut it than it would to have shot it!). Yet even here it's a constantly astonishing looking film: where with fantasy films you often see amazing pre-production concept sketches that the film's visuals can never match, here they exceed them. The sheer unique old world craftsmanship the Italian artisans bring to the film is breathtaking, reminding you that this could never have been shot in a Hollywood studio. The effects work is amazing, all the more so for being largely physical effects that have more weight to them than the too often poorly integrated and lighter than air CGI. Even Michael Kamen rallies to the cause with a splendid score that captures the spirit of its vainglorious fantasist hero. Hot air and fantasy it may be, but gloriously heroic nonetheless.

The only extra on this DVD is the US trailer, but there is a special edition scheduled for later in 2008.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This film delights the eyes with its startlingly beautiful, and often disturbing, imagery. In one unforgettable scene, for instance, we see the Baron's ship coming to rest on the white rippling sands of the moon, as a spattering of stars--constellations of the zodiac--whirl past in a midnight-blue firmament. In another, which plunges us into the fulminating fury of Mount Etna, we see a a Botticelli-like Venus emerging tranquilly from her seashell, as handmaidens and cherubs drape her in white silk and pink satin ribbons; we then watch her levitating with the Baron in a magical waltz, as they spin heavenwards in front of Tivoli-like cascading fountains. In a third sequence, which depicts the almost unrelieved distruction of war, we see a great black-winged Angel of Death, who swoops down and kneels over the recumbent Baron, its skeletal fingers gently lifting the fire of the soul from his mouth. This image of Death, as beautiful as it is dreadful, has come straight off a seventeenth-century Italian baroque church.

Underneath the unbridled fantasy however, "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" poses a serious question: Can the creative power of the imagination survive in a world of cold--and supposedly enlightened--reason which inevitably conjures up fear of 'the other' as an excuse to inflict suffering on its peoples through wars? And if reason succeeds in stifling imagination, will the world not be a poorer place? The Baron's opening of the city gates to end the people's suffering represents an opening of the mind to the possibilities of new creative solutions to the problems of mankind.

This beautifully acted as well as darkly humorous film is sometimes disturbing to watch, but it never ceases to fascinate!
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